the artist formerly know as Blake

Santa Claus, Reindeer Piss and The Northern Lights

I could have never imagined what I saw.  Nor could I have imagined how much I would deeply connect with Laplands in Northern Sweden.


    The day began at 4:30am.  I had my alarm set to P.M. rather than AM. DOH!  It was alright, My friend Corinna was on it and I had the coffee percolator prepared.  The Swedish oven-top heated the tiny pot in disturbing speed.  I whisked Corinna off to the airport, returned in enough time to aaaalmost fall asleep again, then repeated the trip with the rest of the team.  We had just completed an Epic workshop in Stockholm, with 500 beautiful people wanting to dive deep into healing trauma. I looked like a stuffed scarecrow walking through the airport with all my travel clothes on in layers in order to avoid traveling North with any checked luggage.  My travel companion, a little sewn Pikachu peeking out of my pocket, like the traveling gnome from the popular movie, Amelie. We had received the doll as a gift and I had personally decided to take him on an adventure to inspire travel of the gift giver. Muahahahaha

I was headed North to see the Northern Lights.  I already knew they didn’t occur very often and that my search for them could very well end 15 years from now.  The forecast wasn’t looking great either.  100% cloud cover for the next seven days.  I figured that at the very least, I would go hike around some beautiful terrain and explore a foreign culture.  It’s amazing what happens when expectations are low.

City of Kiruna

City of Kiruna

As I boarded the plane, I received wide-eyed looks from a petite brown eyed girl getting on the plane behind me.  I thought it was because of my Pikachu travel companion.  Settling into my seat, I was off to Abisko, Sweden and flying North from Stockholm to the 68th Parallel.  To give you some perspective, Stockholm is the same latitude as Anchorage Alaska and we were about to fly 2 hours north of that.  The nearest airport to Abisko is located in a fascinating city called Kiruna.  It is a city of 20,000 people that exists solely because of an Iron Ore Mine.  A few years ago, after digging 1500 meters below the surface of the city, they discovered that the ore vein ran directly underneath the city.  The mine is currently funding a billion dollar, 85 year relocation of the entire city of Kiruna so they can continue pulling the equivalent of 1 Empire State building per day volume of ore and rock from the ground.  It is a mine that produces some of the highest grade steel on the planet.  During my trip, of the 8 people I met in Kiruna, 5 of them were Engineers.

Abandoned Kiruna City Hall scheduled to be demolished

Abandoned Kiruna City Hall scheduled to be demolished

Just before the plane burst off the runway I received my first notification that there was a G2 class Geomagnetic Storm happening in our magnetosphere.  I tried not to get my hopes up but I felt an inner squeal of excitement arise within me.  The landscape below transformed to a frosty white expanse dotted with icy lakes.  The landscape rested in a slow sunset that would proceed for the next 4 hours even though it was noon.  Upon landing, the little wide-eyed woman came up and asked me if my name was Blake.  I said yes. She was shocked to see me.  And even more shocked to find that I was traveling to the town, with a population of only 100, where she had spent the most part of the last 2 years.  As synchronicity would have it, she had just attended the workshop I’d just introduced which was hosted by the world renowned personal transformation expert, Teal Swan, whom I have worked with and introduced events for the past 9 years.  The woman’s name was Nivi, a thoughtful and spirited Greenlandic woman from a town called Qeqertarsuaq.  I wish you could hear her pronounce it, as Greenlandic originates from the Eskimo language family and coming from her sounded like the name of an Ewok town on Endor.  I was embarrassed to admit that I didn’t even know people came from or even lived in Greenland.  Not often you meet one.

Nivi and I exchanged a greeting as well as a goodbye, but proceeded to discover that we were taking the same bus to Abisko, a one-hour drive away from the airport, roughly a 20 hour drive from where we’d first met.  We navigated our way across snowdrifited roads.  On the hour long journey, Nivi talked about the history of the area and its people.  The natives that live in the area are called Sami and they date back to 6000 BC.  Like other indigenous populations, they suffered grievously from historical persecution and cultural genocide.  The peaceful Sami were particularly devastated during World War II when they were forced to fight, even against each other.  Currently the Sami hold stewardship over all Reindeer in Northern Sweden and many travel with the reindeer in the summer and corral them in the winter. Nivi pointed to a cliff in the distance and explained another Sami legend that when death was close they had the choice to either make the life eclipsing jump or succumb to the elements.   

Nivi spoke of a hallucinogen the Sami traditionally use.  They collect the Urine of Reindeer that had consumed fly agaric mushrooms (red toadstools with white spots).  The Sami would tell stories of their Reindeer flying through space looking down on the world.  Early Christian missionaries brought back these stories ad they eventually made it into Christmas folklore.  Other stories that came from the north were legends of Kyorak Shamans dressed in red cloaks lined with white fur and black boots that collected toadstools from under sacred evergreen trees.  The mushrooms were put into burlap pouches and were given as gifts.  This means Santa Claus does exist! And he’s a dealer! 


The landscape was breathtaking.  We were now riding adjacent to a 70 km lake.  Snow was lightly embracing the stark tundra and mountains began hoisting the landscape around us as we neared the more mountainous western border of Sweden.  One thing that struck me was the light.  I thought I would have a hard time with the near 18 hours of darkness in the far north.  But what I hadn’t realized was that with the tilt of the earth, the sun rises at a 133˚and sets at 223˚.  Which essentially means that all 6.5 hours of daylight are spent in sunrise or sunset.

There was a bit of confusion upon my arrival.  No one had actually heard of the Hostel I was supposed to be staying in.  After a bit of discussion it turned out the new Hostel was referred to as ‘Rogers Place’.  This was confirmed after an email I found welcoming me as his much celebrated very 1st guest.  From there, the synchronicity only got better when it turned out Nivi and I were staying exactly one house distance away from each other in the town.

A woman named Anna opened welcomed me.  I came to discover that Anna runs roughly the distance of a marathon everyday in the hills of Abisko.  The previous weekend she had broken the Woman’s record on a course in Sweden for the Ultra Marathon by a 5 hour margin.  It was apparent I was in a town of outdoor enthusiasts.  Roger introduced me to the glimmering hostel decorated with enormous pictures of the Auroras.  I didn’t realize that most Auroras are green, brilliant lambent bands of neon green reaching and snaking across the sky.  He fumbled through describing the science behind the borealis.  He described it well enough for me to understand that describing exactly what is happening with the Borealis is not easy.  I couldn’t believe the synchronicity of my timing nor could I believe all the conditions that had to be in perfect alignment in order for the Northern Lights to occur.  You need a combination of high Solar Winds (speed and density), a clear sky, and no city lights.  Even the moon can ruin your chances to see them.

Two days before I arrived, giant coronal holes were forming on the Sun, sending solar winds in every direction, including earth.  The density and speed of those winds formulate the KP index.  Anything above a 4 is good.  By the time I arrived, the KP index was 7 and had jumped into the classification of G1-G2 class Geomagnetic storm.  A solar wind speed above 250 kilometers per second is also good and it was up to 500 km/s.  The density also needed to be around 2 protons/cm³ and it was at 5.  It also just happened to be a new moon that night, so no moonlight in sight.  The chances were good.  Now we just prayed for clear skies.  I wasn’t expecting much because I knew things had to be perfect and the forecast had predicted 100% cloud cover for 7 days straight, but I couldn’t lie that my hopes were up.  But I was in Abisko, Sweden for a very specific purpose.  They call Abisko “The Blue Hole” for a reason.  The geography places the town just east of the mountains of Norway and just on the southwestern bank of the 70 kilometer long Torneträsk lake.  This orientation causes a microclimate, where clouds could be entirely covering the land and yet Abisko would still be exposed to the heavens.

     I set down my things in the Hostel and went out to get some food and supplies for the next couple of days and waited for dinner time.  I had accepted a dinner invitation extended by Nivi and her English boyfriend Oliver, who also happened to be a professional photographer whose profession revolved specifically around photographing the Northern Lights.  Not long after I returned, a knock came and Roger was there.  “What are you doing inside? The sky is green!” I walked outside and sure enough a faint river of green appeared across the sky.  Not a minute later, I received a text from Nivi “We are going out to photograph the lights, want to come?  I typed YES in caps lock to try and not seem too excited. 

Aur 2.jpg

We hopped in Oliver’s van that he uses for photo tours and took off down the road, which was literally a solid sheet of ice.  We didn’t have to drive too far until we were tracing the edge of a lake hoping to get some nice reflections in the images Oliver had set out to capture.  Fingers of the Borealis stretched across the horizon.  At first they appeared to move as clouds do, gently shifting in the atmosphere.  But after watching for just a few moments, ripples start forming down the length of the band of light.  It looked like when you take a rope, lift and then drop it quickly to send a wave down the length of it.  Then more rapid movements emerged from the green mist.  At times they moved as if silent veiled ghosts floating across the sky. 


We were fighting with our position against the cloud cover.  Oliver would get a few good shots and the lights would die down or hide behind a bank of clouds, forcing us to shift our position and head to a different part of the lake.  I was asking what Nivi thought of them and she said something really interesting.  She said that she was a little afraid of them.  She said that when she’s walking at night alone with them, that she sometimes feels scared they will take her away.  She also said that the black negative space between the fingers of light also frightened her, the contrast of the darkness.  A little later the bathing waves of green were calmer, we were still glued to the sky affixed in wonder.  Nivi had told me earlier about an intelligence she felt the Borealis had.  I was contemplating this incredible natural phenomena.  Both how I’d seen nothing like it but also how I felt a familiarity. 

Aur 4.jpg

The borealis seemed to move like emotions or thoughts.  It was profound seeing earth’s consciousness itself play out in this beautiful dance in the sky.  A strange thought occurred to me, and then I said it out loud “It’s Me!!”.  Nivi yelped “YES! in confirmation.  And as if the lights had heard us, the Aurora immediately started to flare into a burning phosphorus green filling the entire visual sky.  Tendrils began to move even more quickly popping in and out.  At this point my mind blew a gasket.  The color sprinted into bright pink, purple and white.  It snaked right at us like rivulets of a river delta in time lapse.  It came towards us so fast, so light and silently, I suddenly understood why Nivi felt like they were coming

to take us away.I suddenly understood how ancients believed in dragons in the sky and how people could believe in a God coming from the sky.We were (maybe more so I was) yelling in amazement, “Wow Wow” at the top of my lungs.Oliver stopped taking shots and switched to live video.

In all the years I had been committed to seeing the lights, I had no idea how amazing they truly would be.  It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.  It was as if I saw some consciousness, much larger than myself playing out across the heavens.  I fear being called “crazy” or “woo-woo” by an entire Agnostic/Atheist part of society whom I often identify with.  I have always honored a healthy level of skepticism.  I have considered it a way to stay grounded and connected to our wider society.  But I also must admit that I have seen enough in even my own short life to accept the truth that humans don’t know everything.  In fact, we know very little.

I had thought about finishing this written window into my thoughts, with disavowing of current societal norms by saying if you want to find me, I’ll be drinking the Reindeer Piss under the Northern Lights.  But instead of separating me from earth and the people in it, this unearthly wonder had connected me to the natural world.  It had brought me to a feeling of closeness with the universe, the earth and with humanity.  So I must end this by saying, no matter how scientific certain magic, like Borealis may be, I have seen magic with my own eyes.  And this natural magic is something I wish for all the people of earth to see.

Aur 3.jpg

A Thought on Intentional Community

Facebook has been a massacre with Political Posts. The internet blares its true colors. Especially with an inhumane side of nasty comments made in anonymity. Verbally raping each other in a blind war, where we are lead to believe the leaders are either Liberal or Conservative. And that the problems that exist in our world and society stem from those who are not like us. I do believe this is a condition of fear perpetuated by media but it is also remarkably irresponsible. Seeing problems in our world, and doing nothing about them is irresponsible, even if it IS someones job to solve those problems for you (i,e. the government + it's representatives), but obviously this system is broken, and heavily invested in itself. The system works only if everyone is involved in it. That was my biggest eye opener interning through the Utah State Legislature. That the system works, but only if everyone is involved, but this isn't the case and I greatly question whether a system can be so large and humanitarian at the same time. Writing Posts on facebook is a start to change. It isn't the answer but it is a medium for which ideas can come our of your mind and onto paper. Also its a place to organize, but if you aren't actually meeting people in person face to face because of it, it might as well be another tool of isolation and anonymity. For a long time Ive seen Intentional Community as the answer. The return to village style life, whatever this looks like to you in our modern day society. To me it still involves apple computers and Mr Coffee. I don't care how you do it. But it involves living with other people other families and where people cook together, clean together, help watch each others' kids. I've lived like this for 13 years and its amazing, especially the pressure it takes off of parents, and answers the problems of being able to work, and have your children raised by strangers and nannies. Throw in the element of growing food and you damn near have a sustainable system. But hey, if you trust that the corner store will always provide, knock yourself out. Living with others is not always easy and it takes courage and commitment to work on your personal issues with one another. It takes courage to be vulnerable, but that is where I see the real change and the real heroes in this world. Knowing how to communicate isn't always 2nd nature to people, but if you want content on Conflict Resolution or Emotional presence, I have that up the wazoo. The first step is to live with each other again. the single family household has destroyed our humanity. In all of this messed up world, the worst part is that we don't have each other. So the first step is to live with each other again. Truly Live. Watch each others kids, do someone else's dish, take responsibility for a hurtful comment. change comes from within, It doesn't form from someone imposing a law from 1000 miles away. Change your home, the world will follow.

Lucid Dreaming Interview - Blake Dyer - Robert Waggoner's Monthly Lucid Dreaming Journal

Lucid Dreaming Interview

Tell us a bit about your early dream life? Anything interesting or unusual?

    My dreams have always been quite fantastical.  I grew up in a small ski town in the Rockies.  I would often find myself jumping off large cliffs that were impossibly high.  I remember waking upon landing and being awestruck by their realness.  I would often have action packed dreams or dreams about natural disasters.  One of them years later would make me deeply question what dreams inherently were. 

       I woke up in the dream outside and looking up at the stars.  They were beautiful and I saw a shooting star straight above me.  Then I saw another and another, then it was like a thousand shooting stars at once.  But something was wrong.  They descended upon the city and they were actually alien space ships and they began attacking the city.  They looked like the Independence Day style Alien spaceships and they were firing green lasers everywhere.  We were running around the rubble of the city and trying to escape behind brick walls as they fired. One shot right next to me and it looked like green acid burning a trash pile.  I touched it, but it didn’t seem to hurt me.  After the attack I was walking up a hill and saw the Black versions of my Mexican friends and co- workers at the pizza place I worked at.  I asked them “Hey do you want to go watch the city burn with me?”  I inherently knew it was New York, which is maybe why my subconscious had projected my friends to be Black.  And we climbed the hill and watched the fires. 

    This dream occurred about 6 months before the September 11th attacks.  I’ve had many other dreams of natural disasters and war catastrophe’s that haven’t happened, so I don’t take all my dreams to be premonitions, but this was strange.  Perhaps even more incredible though several years later I returned to that same Pizza Place. I was telling one of my old Mexican Friends about the dream that he had been a Black character in.  He started to get really excited because he told me that he had the exact same dream.  That it started the exact same way,  he described it beginning outside at night.  He said that he looked up and saw not a shooting star but a satellite pass over head, then thousands of them, that then turned into Independence style spaceships.  It was incredible the details to the structure of the dream and the details of Spaceships that shot green lasers.  I haven’t experienced someone having the same exact dream before but it was opening me to the possibility that our dreams can also be a shared space.  If nothing else it opened up the mystery that there was more to be explored.

    2)  When did you first learn about lucid dreaming?  Can you recall your first lucid dream/s?  What prompted your lucid dream awareness?

    I first became aware of Lucid Dreaming after watching the film “Waking Life” where the main character has repeated false awakenings and has/observes several philosophical conversations regarding the perceptions of our reality and the implications of lucid dreaming.  I started lucid dreaming within days of seeing this film. 

    I was in a living room with some friends when I realized that I was dreaming.  I said “Sooo, this is dream.  How about we all just get up and fly out of the window.  I flew upand almost immediately lost control and spiraled back towards the ground.  And was lost back into the unaware dream shortly after.  But the damage had been done and I was hooked.

    3)  Do you remember any of those pivotal early lucid dreams that inspired you? What Happened?

    One of my first Lucid Dreams

    I was again sitting in the pizza place that I worked at during highschool.  I was talking with one of my co-workers and became lucid.  I said to him “Wow, this is a dream, we’re dreaming this is incredible”.  He confirmed to me in the dream that we were dreaming and we had a whole conversation about it.

    I was so excited when I woke up.  I couldn’t wait to find him and talk about our experience.  When I did find him, he didn’t remember a thing.  I was dumbfounded.  The experience was far too real.  I knew that I was speaking to him.  So even though he confirmed that we were dreaming within the dream, he didn’t remember upon awakening.  Was he conscious in the dream, and then forgotten upon awakening?  Was I speaking with his subconscious?  Was he a subconscious aspect of myself that I was just speaking too?  It was so real, I couldn’t but believe that I was speaking to some aspect of him, rather than mine own subconscious.

    4)  What was it about those early lucid dreams that propelled you deeper into lucid dreaming? 

    The magic and creative beauty that I experienced.  I had always had fantastical dreams that left me in awe and wonder of this seemingly limitless realm.  But having the ability to navigate and manipulate that realm at will was just too much.  I’ve always been a very visual and imaginative person.  And it was like being able to step into my own imagination, then taste, touch, smell, hear and experience it.  Lucid dreaming just took it too another level and expanded my idea of reality, what is possible and our limits in this world. 

    I can’t remember if it was a lucid dream or not, but I found myself designing a machine.  This machine was a device to help people learn how to juggle.  If you can think of the space where someone juggles, it’s an oval shape taller than your upper body and about the width of your arms stretched out.  The machine was a technicolored belt that continuously circled around this space.  Within the space that the belt circled, the machine slowed down time. So you could experience throwing and catching the balls in a slowed down time reality while observing it in real time.  This helped improve muscle memorization more quickly because you could actively watch where the balls would fall and place your hands there with less mistakes.

    How cool is that!?  I’m sure the implications of such a design might be more useful to society outside of juggling, but it was like stepping into my own imagination.  Other than my learning to juggle for the previous 6 months in waking life before that dream, I don’t know where that idea came from.  Or doubt I would have come up with such an idea outside the dream realm.

    5) Atthat time, what induction the techniques/s did you rely upon tobecome lucid? 

    Some of the techniques that I learned through the film Waking Life, included flipping light switches, checking clocks, reading text looking away then trying to read it again, and counting fingers on my hands.  All techniques worked on and off but I like the technique of my hands the best, because they’re always there.  And after so many times, it doesn’t take much to realize that I’m dreaming. 

    6) Real World lessons and Life Altering consequences of Lucid Dreaming and the launch pad of the most pivotal dream of my life

    I always used to say “I am a bad teacher”.  I’m not sure where I picked up this belief but undoubtedly it came from a poor self concept and the belief that I was never good enough.  Around 5 years ago, whenever I became lucid I would begin teaching other dream characters about and how to wake up in the dream.  I would go through the list of techniques I knew to tell whether you were dreaming or not.  After so many times of me telling this story in waking life and saying “I was teaching them”, I realized that I was indeed a teacher.  I realized how limiting of a belief my say “I’m not a good teacher” really was.  And that I was missing out on sharing something that I loved to do and even taking the next step to mastering a craft.  But it also made me realize that everyone is a teacher and saying that you are a bad teacher is essentially saying that you aren’t good at anything.  Which is completely untrue for any living soul.  Everyone is good at something (or better than someone else at something) and therefore a teacher.

      Then, I had a life altering dream. 

    I was in a grocery store when I woke within the dream.  I gathered a group of about 3 dreamers and began teaching them about how to wake up and recognize they were in a dream.  Two women wearing owl masks were listening in on the conversation from the outside.  I became suspicious of them listening in and I said “Hi There :) , if you’re so interested why don’t you join us, or you can get the %#^& out of here” (This was a time in my life where I was beginning to step more into my own power).  One of the women, is a startled manner said “Woah, And THIS, is who you’ve decided to Wake Up!?”  Then t the women turned into Owls and flew through the back of a solid wall.  I followed them to see where they went but upon coming to the solid wall I turned back into the dream.  I heard a deep voice from seemingly everywhere state “Look Deeper”.  So upon looking deeper, I saw there were some gaps in the wall and in-between those gaps a couple of handles.  I grabbed the handles and opened it up to a square opening into blackness.  There were some metallic pinchers receding into the blackness that resembled the bottom of a millipede.  I thought to myself “this is awesome, should I go tell those other dream characters?”  The Voice then returned and said “The fall is more graceful for some, than it is for others”.  I took that as a sign to go alone.  

    I let the metallic pinchers carry me into the blackness.  I could feel them on my face on all over my body and it was surprisingly gentle.  I was carried down to a platform that seemed to be floating in the middle of space.  As I entered I could see Two large old men.  It was just their heads on elongated necks, with large noses and they seemed to be made of gold.  And they were extremely grumpy.  At this point in the dream I knew this was a test and I knew I had been there before.  I said in a jovial tone “You guys, great to see you again” with a big smile on my face.  In a surly manner one of them said “I wouldn’t be so happy to see the person that failed ME last time”.   I replied “Oh, the past the past”.  They proceeded to ask me a series of questions that related to the true value of the workshops we host in waking life.  The answers came in the form of 3 keys, 2 large Golden ones and a smaller key.  I immediately knew the answer was how people are healed and had nothing to do with money.  This key that I grabbed almost before they were even finished talking opened a small doorway.  I went through this door and was walking on a smaller version of our world.  I was walking with a friend and holding an iron.  I remembered at this moment wanting to do something powerful in the dream world.  I looked up at the moon and decided that I would turn it into a high powered magnet.  Immediately all the metal on this little earth began to rise up towards the moon.  Even my friends purse began to rise up off her shoulder.  At this point I remember being taught how to manipulate water within the dream.  I looked out over the ocean and created a massive whirlpool that started to swirl.  It took out a large brick building that was in the ocean.  Keep in mind, I have been lucid this entire time.  It was definitely the longest lucid dream I’d ever had.  At this point I came to yet another gate.  This time it was made of glass and there were stars all over it.  My friend Teal and an older woman in spiritual clothing was on the other side.  Again i immediately knew the “code” to get through and pressed the stars that made a combination of two separate constellations.  Once I passed through this gate, I inherently knew that I was in a realm where everyone was lucid and awake in the dream.  They showed me the test that I had been put through to get there.  I observed where I had been confused and failed before.  They showed me a map of humanity.   There was a system of roots and fog and I could see people walking underneath, asleep in the dream.  There was a whole section for Manhattan.  Everyone was separated in these cell like rooms and everyone had glowing cell phones above there faces.  This is where the dream dissolved. 

    Upon waking, I was literally high for 4 days.  “I passed the Test!!”  It was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever experienced.  The following year I incorporated the manipulation of water in my “dream teachings”.  Anything from lifting an entire swimming pool out of it’s basin to simply redirecting the stream of a faucet.  After that year, I received a message over facebook from a woman I had never met in person.  She said “Blake, you were in my dream last night.  You were teaching me about Universal Truths and Water Properties”.  It was incredible.  I thought back to one of my first lucid dreams having the conversation with my friend and knowing that I was speaking to him and not just a subconscious aspect of myself.  To me, when she sent me that message, it proved to me that the dream world at least part of the time is a shared subconscious reality.  Although I don’t remember that dream specifically I knew I was doing that in dreams.  So that's the beginning of my story to Lucid Dreaming, I so look forward to diving into mine own subconscious and expanding this reality that we know. 

    Blake Dyer